A unique Saskatchewan initiative will not only talk about depression and anxiety on World Mental Health Day Thursday, Oct. 10, but it will offer concrete suggestions that are hopeful and joyful.
“Mental health is a huge point of discussion these days as we’re all touched by it somehow, but it’s time to turn that conversation into a positive one that shows recovery, coping and joy,” said More Joy Movement founder Christalee Froese.
More Joy Weyburn at the Southeast College will bring together anxiety and depression sufferers and provincial mental health professionals to offer the public real-life experiences and treatment options. The evening workshops on Oct. 10 are fundraisers for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Weyburn Branch.
“One in five Canadians lives with mental health problems, mental illnesses or addiction. But the reality is, five in five of us have mental health, just like we have physical health,” said CMHA Regina Director of Community Engagement, Shannon Patton.
“Our mental health is about more than being happy all the time, it’s about feeling good about who we are, having balance in our life and managing life’s highs and lows. An event like this will help give people permission to search for and hopefully experience a little more joy in their life.”
More Joy Weyburn is the brainchild of journalist and author Christalee Froese who toured with her first book, Journey to Joy, this past year.
“Everywhere I went and told my story of breakdown and recovery, I was met with people of all ages who were struggling profoundly with depression and anxiety,” said Froese. “I was absolutely shocked and overwhelmed by the stories I heard from men, women, young and old.”
Her solution: The More Joy Movement. The movement launched in Regina on Jan. 30, 2019, as part of Bell’s Let’s Talk Day.In the past eight months, it has grown to include over 1,100 participants taking the More Joy Challenge on Facebook in addition to delivering Joy Bombs to people who are in need of a boost and helping to pay for counseling costs.
Speakers at the Oct. 10 event will be 17-year-old anxiety sufferer Lauren Kohl and 30-year-old depression survivor oilfield worker Jeremy Taylor. This will be followed by strategies for coping by school psychologists and life coach Dr. Christine Majeran.
The CMHA Weyburn branch will have an information booth onsite, as will the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Health Authority regarding their on-line counseling services.
“We’ve added a youth session as well, as the need is great in that age-group,” said Froese. “Lauren Kohl will speak to what she goes through on a daily basis regarding anxiety and I think that will resonate profoundly with all ages, whether you’re a teen or a parent.”
Tickets to More Joy Weyburn ($45 adults, $25 students) are available at CMHA, Weyburn branch at 404 Ashford Street, and online at www.bookjourneytojoy.com.